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New App Could Alert Staff to Building Pressure Before a Wound Starts

By Nursing Home Law Center

New App

If you or your loved one has ever experienced significant periods of immobility, you are probably aware of the dangers of pressure sores. These are wounds that develop after continuous pressure or friction is exerted on specific parts of the body and the person refuses or cannot change positions. The resulting loss of blood flow to this area results in a sore that later injures the skin and surrounding tissue area. Now, a group in Toronto has focused on a part of this problem overlooked until now: detecting exactly when the pressure is building up.

Their product is SensiMat. It ingeniously places a mat full of sensors underneath the cushion of a wheelchair to monitor pressure. Then, via Bluetooth, the system can detect whether the user is in the chair, what position they are sitting in the chair, and how long they have been sitting in that position. It even sends a warning signal when the user has gone 30 minutes without changing positions. SensiMat even comes with access to a website (for a monthly fee) where both the user and his or her doctor can track the progress and tendencies over the course of the last month. This system targets prevention as a source of blocking the growth of pressure sores, realizing the irreversible damage done once the disease sprouts.

Interesting, this system that general affects an old problem for old people has turned to new means for formation and growth. It launched a campaign on Indiegogo hoping to generate $15,000 in capital. So far, it has come close to reaching its goal, and has brought in $9,000. Hopefully, we will see more alternative and unique solutions broach the surface of the medical community because this common illness is only growing in prevalence. Every year, millions of people develop sores and billions are spent on their treatment. With more and more Baby Boomers retiring to the confines of nursing homes (and the sedentary lifestyle that accompanies it) we should only expect more cases to emerge. Hopefully, SensiMat and other products will be successful in combating their rise.

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